To not send Christmas Cards

(121 Posts)
crimbo12 Wed 28-Nov-12 13:18:00

So I am faced with a list of about 50 family, aquaintances, old colleagues etc. My only communication with these people is by Xmas cards each year. Each year I get increasingly irritated by this process, the cost and waste of paper. Even with close friends and family I can give a personal Greeting (and sometimes even a drink!) so why do I also send them a bit of cardboard to put on a shelf.

So what would you think if you received a card with this message
"Crimbo and Family have decided this will be the last year we send Cards at Christmas. If you would like to send us your email address we will send Seasons Greetings this way in future. If you prefer not to then be assured you will be in our thoughts during the Festive Season"

I may or may not be brave enough to actually do this

CailinDana Wed 28-Nov-12 13:20:29

Don't send the message, it comes across a bit hostile. Just don't bother with the cards and say "Happy Christmas" to whomever you happen to see. I don't bother with cards. PILs on the other hand still give us a card even when they spend Christmas at our house - how mental is that?

WorraLiberty Wed 28-Nov-12 13:20:37

I don't know what I'd think really.

I stopped sending Xmas cards 2 years ago but didn't announce it.

Mind you, it does sound like a good idea if you want to gather email addresses...but I can't help thinking it sounds a bit 'official' know like a public service announcement? grin

Work on making the wording less formal perhaps?

Floggingmolly Wed 28-Nov-12 13:24:39

I forgot to post ours last year (found the pile in one of the Christmas decorations boxes after Christmas), and I don't think anyone actually noticed.

WilsonFrickett Wed 28-Nov-12 13:28:25

I bought last year but CBA to send. The world didn't collapse, funnily enough. I wouldn't do the messagey thing though.

babybythesea Wed 28-Nov-12 13:38:44

I don't send Christmas cards and haven't for about five years,
There is no-one I'd send one to that I don't have an email address for or wouldn't see.

Instead, on around Nov 25th, I send an email and post a facebook status saying: As usual, I will not be sending any Christmas cards this year. Instead, I am donating the money I saved to (insert charity and comment on what they do). Merry Christmas every one!

This year, I bought some things from the John Lewis refuge christmas list after seeing it advertised on here. So the money bit said: Instead, I went to the John Lewis website and bought a gift from their gift list (number 522953) which will go to someone (either a woman or a child) who is living in a refuge this Christmas and hopefully make their day a little bit brighter.

Last year I donated to WaterAid so made a mention of helping someone somewhere to receive fresh water in time for Christmas, and the previous year it was BookAid - you get the picture. Several people have commented on how they like the idea and at least two people now do similar! Why not go down that route? Send a message saying that this is the last year you will send one but will instead donate the money to charity in future but you would appreciate an email address so you can still get in touch to wish them a merry christmas. And then donate a fiver or tenner or whatever. And no-one can grumble!

TheCrackFox Wed 28-Nov-12 13:39:22

I didn't post cards last year, I really couldn't be arsed. No one mentioned it.

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 13:40:54

I love christmas cards, but honestly don't keep tabs on who HASN'T sent them,

so just don't do it, but DON'T sent a shitty "I'm not doing it cause of the environement blah blah" email, or worse still "I'm donating to charity instead" - like sending cards and donating to charity are mutually exlusive hmm - if you want to ALSO donate to charity, just do it! it sort of takes some of the altruism out of it if you announce it to your whole email address book!

I have been wondering whether to prune my christmas card list severely, this year. Last year I sent about 120, and received about 40, and was considering only sending cards to those 40 this year. But already I am feeling The Guilt at even considering this, let alone doing it.

Please slap some sense into me.

I am not sending cards this year. I did mention it on here a while back and said I was going to donate to charity instead. Then got told off for not donating all year round. grin

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 13:44:17

also the snotty "we're giving to charity instead this year" emails make me think the person is less generous, because it reads like they never gave to charity before IYKWIM

most people donate to charity particularly at christmas time, whether they give cards or not, just get on with it if that's what you want to do

I wont be writting IN my christmas cards, Oh but I also bought off the refuge list and donated to X, Y, and Z charity plus the food bank (which we always do) - so why announce your donations in your "i'm not sending cards" email greeting!

just wish people happy christmas if you see/email them!

EIizaDay Wed 28-Nov-12 13:45:59

I haven't sent xmas cards for about 15 years. I just don't do it. I didn't tell anyone, I think they just kind of guessed over the years that I was pretty pissed off with the falseness of that time of year.

babybythesea Wed 28-Nov-12 13:51:15

Well, you see, to me they are mutually exclusive.

I don't have any money. This week for example, I have my 'need to get' list for groceries, and I have about half the money I need for it. So I don't have enough to get all the food we need for the next week.

Therefore sending cards or donating to charity is a big deal - I don't want people to think I've forgotten them by not sending anything especially when they send me cards. But if I can scrape a bit of cash together I'd rather do something useful with it. I really hate being poor and don't want to be a scrooge so I don't want to say to people either 'I don't care enough about you to send a card when you sent one to me' (obviously not out loud but that seems to me to be the implicit message by just not sending) or to just send an email message which seems a bit off as well. So I tell them that they were in my thoughts but that the money has gone to someone who needs it even more than I do. Surely if a couple of friends now do the same thing because they thought it a good idea, then in fact I did a good thing by telling peopple because the charities have gained more money as a result?

babybythesea Wed 28-Nov-12 13:55:53

Think I'm going to leave the thread - something which is a big deal in this house is clearly sneered at elsewhere and it's making me uncomfortable. Dh works for a charity and I did too (and now I volunteer with them when I can)before DD was born so it's not as though this is our one contribution all year - we just contribute with effort rather than money normally. I think just not sending christmas cards smacks a bit of being scrooge-like and not thinking about people and I want to reassure people that I am neither. Sorry if it offends so many of you.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 13:56:29

I send Christmas cards because I like the people I send them to. If I didn't I wouldn't bother. The people I send to are worth a few minutes of my time & the price of a stamp. But that is just my view - if I resented the time & money I was spending, I wouldn't do it.

I love receiving Christmas Cards too - I think there is something really lovely about getting something nice in the post.

I work for a charity and think most of my friends probably already give to charities so I would feel embarrassed emailing them telling them I spent Christmas card money on a donation to charity - but I do understand why people do it.

I hate Christmas cards and haven't sent any for years. I never announced it though, I just stopped sending them and told people why as I/if I saw them.

I wouldn't bother sending a card with a 'I'm not doing this anymore' kind of message in - way too formal and sounds worse than just not doing it anymore!

EIizaDay Wed 28-Nov-12 14:00:58

babybythesea - I disagree. If you think that you are judged by sending (or not sending christmas cards) then I think you need to find a different set of acquaintances. It surely is the most artificial and superficial way of saying you are thinking of them. There are much better ways (on any of the other 364 days of the year)

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 14:04:04

Eliza - just out of interest, why is sending a card to a friend artificial & superficial?

I am thinking of the trees more than anything.

ImperialStateKnickers Wed 28-Nov-12 14:04:57

I now only send Christmas cards to a small group of older relatives who haven't caught up with the digital revolution. I stopped the cards to people I see week in week out about five years ago, and to the younger but not living in the area friends and relatives two years ago. Only one of them has even noticed, and then only to comment that she was going to do the same.

I do leave Christmas cards, which I buy from the RSPCA/Dogs Trust/Blue Cross/whichever animal charity has the best designs that year, at my client's homes during the week before Christmas when I collect their dogs for their walks.

babybythesea Wed 28-Nov-12 14:10:05

I've never had anyone in real life judge me for sending or not, or for saying I'll donate to charity instead. It is entirely my feelings on it - so Ill keep my friends thanks.
The judgements on giving to charity and choosing to mention it to people have come entirely from here.

judefawley Wed 28-Nov-12 14:11:27

I wouldn't announce it - just do it.

This will be our second year of not sending any cards. It's very liberating and I hear of more and more people doing this. I think they are going out of fashion.

I don't display any of the cards we get either. <bah humbug>

Sokmonsta Wed 28-Nov-12 14:12:36

Each to their own. I tend to drop a few people from my card list every year. Work acquaintances I no longer see, people who I don't generally keep in touch with anymore for various reasons.

The people who get Christmas cards are the people I would send birthday cards to, or other mail in the post every now and then. I still give to charity through the year so I don't feel I need to stop sending cards and give that money instead. That kinda seems a bit attention seeking to me - look what I do instead of sending you a card.

If you don't want to send cards don't. If you want to donate to charity then do it. But don't ram it down the throats of people who choose otherwise or you risk being seen as trying to be superior to your friends and family.

I'm sure it can come up in casual conversation better than making a public statement via email or other means and seem more sincere.

Me neither juse. Nowhere to put them.

This is the first year I wont be sending any either. Its for a number of reasons, the buying of the cards, the time spent writing, and the serious cost of second class stamps.
I forewarned my PIL's and DM as they are of an age to get a bit sniffy about it.
When my DF passed away, I got into the habit of buying a gift from World Vision on his birthday, fathers day, anniversary etc. So I will do that.
But tbh my contribution to charity is my business alone and not related to sending cards or not.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 14:15:31

babybythesea - you shouldn't give a monkeys about what anyone on here thinks. This is an anonymous chat forum - where opinions are free & easy!

You think what you do is a good thing & at the end of the day that is all that really needs to matter. We're talking Christmas cards here, not world peace!!! wink

EIizaDay Wed 28-Nov-12 14:20:40

Postbellum, well I can think of many ways to tell someone that I care for them but sending a "christmas card" wouldn't cut it.

squoosh Wed 28-Nov-12 14:22:05

Someone I know wanted to ditch the tradition too. What she did was she bought a heap of Christmas tree decorations sent one with each card and said something like 'As of next year I'll no longer be sending Christmas cards........please hang this decoration on your tree and know that even though I'm not sending you a card I am sending you my seasonal greetings etc'.

Bit cheesy but was nice and avoided anyone thinking they were being edited from the list.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 14:30:54

Sorry to hear that Eliza. sad I think a card sincerely sent to a friend would be a sure fire way to show you thought of them & wished them well - but I guess we'll have to agree to differ on that point.

picketywick Wed 28-Nov-12 14:31:21

We make our own Christmas cards Often funny.

And while i am at it I don't really want to receive any especially if there is a round robin letter inside.

judefawley Wed 28-Nov-12 14:35:00

We have just had our first round robin.

Now these, I would miss if they stopped.

We take them to a party every NY and everyone reads out their best, boasty ones.

grin A personal letter addressed to me with references to me in it-lovely. A photocopied letter with my name filled in at the top-annoying.

babybythesea Wed 28-Nov-12 14:40:02

postbellum - thanks!
I just really hadn't thought that some of my friends may be sitting there thinking I was being smug or holier than thou by sending that message - got to me a bit because to do anything at all is such a big deal at the moment (things were just about fine until a few months ago but the charity I work for don't need me until April time which is when I'll be having DC2 and I don't get maternity pay so we are having a massive struggle to get by - it's all complicated but horrible ATM, especially with another baby due).
I might have a quiet word with my sister and a couple of close trusted friends and ask them what they genuinely think - they also know me and my motives and situation so they will be honest and tell me how it comes across, rather than worrying too much about a random online forum and what they seem to be judging me for. Of all the things I thought I'd ever be judged for, giving to chairty and saying so wasn't one of them...!!!

Badvocsanta Wed 28-Nov-12 14:42:07

I may only send to elderly relatives next year.
I spent £20 on stamps yesterday! Stamps!
It's mad really.
I doubt anyone will notice.
Am also planning on asking for no gifts next year (for adults). That'll go down well smile

EIizaDay Wed 28-Nov-12 14:42:41

Postbelly. I agree! A card is a lovely thing to receive. A christmas card however (to me) is usually like a factory line object. No thought/imagination/soul.

Send a friend a card on the 23 May: just because you love them or are thinking of them. What an impact that would make. You would really be thinking of them then rather than when the xmas time comes along and you get out your address book and start ticking names off a list.

PostBellumBugsy Wed 28-Nov-12 15:17:53

I could send a card on 23rd May to everyone, but I'd be doing that as well as a Christmas card - not a bad idea though. I'd still have to get out the address book & tick the names off, because I'd get in a muddle if I didn't. Doesn't mean I think any the less of my friends because I have to be organised about how I send the cards though!

EIizaDay Wed 28-Nov-12 15:24:08

OK Postbellum. We are on different wave lengths obviously smile

chocoluvva Wed 28-Nov-12 15:24:49

I love getting christmas cards and spend ages writing out cards with short individual letters but I'm usually pretty fed up of writing them out after about the third evening.

My favourite round robin was the A-Z of smith family achievements of 2010.
It stretched to three pages including photos.

They are such a proud family.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Wed 28-Nov-12 16:11:27

I like sending and receiving cards. My sending list is only 20-odd people don't have a lot of friends so it's just close friends and family.

I also write personal notes in each one.

I don't receive that many but I hope this year we get a couple at least because DS loves cards!

amillionyears Wed 28-Nov-12 16:20:42

I cut out giving as many a few years ago. Then some of the kids left home. then some of the more elderly folk died. Result, less cards around the place which now looks more bare than it used to.
Being brutal, you might end up with less cards to give as the years go by anyway.

Mrsjay Wed 28-Nov-12 16:25:28

I just stopped doing it 2 years ago I cut it down 3 yrs ago now i just dont do any the Dds do send to friends and i do buy my parents and sister, My mum and aunt have boxes of cards to write out everyyear to the world and her husband it must drive them bonkers,

I have been in my house nearly 20 yrs and i still get a Christmas card in the post for the man who lived here and tbh i don't even think he is still alive hmm so the sender is just going through their list and aimlessly sending madness

funkybuddah Wed 28-Nov-12 16:27:19

Ive never sent cards (well apart from to my nana and my dp's aprents from the kids with a picture)
Im not fussed about recieving them either, never really put them up lol

flowerygirl Wed 28-Nov-12 16:32:06

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, it makes me feel all Christmasy!

I personally wouldn't send that message, just don't bother with the cards if you feel that strongly about it. Otherwise it sounds a bit bah humbug!

flowerygirl Wed 28-Nov-12 16:41:10

Also I can't stand the photocopied round robin letters with your name written at the top!

Some favourite 'news' divulged in letters we received in previous years:

Description of a colonoscopy
Removal of a pet dog's mammary glands
A burst sewage pipe spilling out onto their patio

What would possess people to share these stories?! Not exactly festive!

Issy Wed 28-Nov-12 16:48:00

I haven't sent out Christmas cards for about ten years. Amazingly, we still receive a slew of them each year. What I do try to do is make a list of people I want to stay in contact with but haven't spoken to in the last year and send them a non-festive card at some random point before Easter. It feels much more personal that way and more likely to lead to a response, even a meet-up.

DeWe Wed 28-Nov-12 17:40:19

I don't like people saying "we're going to give to charity rather than Christmas cards" because it feels a bit like washing your clean linen in public. Just do it, rather than telling everyone.

I think the problem with not sending cards is there are some people who are lonely and that card on the mantlepiece means a huge amount to them. You won't necessarily know who they are, but being able to see visibly that people have remembered them, even with a generic card, will give them an emotional boost.

We send about 60 cards each year, most of which send us one back. But we don't keep tabs and wouldn't stop sending if someone stopped. Don't generally give them to people we see though, these are friends that have moved away or family.

Someone we knew used to go on about what an effort it was to send all the 200 cards that people would be desperate to get from them and be terribly upset if they didn't get. Eventually someone asked how many they got back... "about 40" they said. We all were silently grin.

LillianGish Wed 28-Nov-12 17:44:05

I wouldn't send cards to people I see all the time, but to distant relatives and friends abroad I think it is a nice way to wish them Merry Christmas. Not everyone is on Facebook (isn't that just a year-long round robin of impersonal boasting and showing off of holiday snaps?) and not all elderly relatives have email.

exoticfruits Wed 28-Nov-12 17:49:01

I actually love cards, letters, round robins, the lot. However I think their day is over because of the cost of postage. I am going to send virtual ones or phone the person.

hiddenhome Wed 28-Nov-12 17:50:29

Cards irritate me and I don't send them. Nobody ever complains smile I also dislike receiving them as we have no space for them.

zlist Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:07

I don't send them anymore either. Well, I send about 5 to elderly relatives but I stopped with everyone else.
I started by cutting back first - I just sent one out to everyone who sent me one the day theirs arrived (silly, I know but somehow it made it easier for me and I ended up writing something more interesting) and once last posting day arrived didn't worry about sending more. I think I did that for a couple of years and then just stopped that as well.
I wouldn't announce it, just stop.
The Christmas cards we receive I open, read, think 'that's nice, and put it straight in the recycling bin.

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 18:06:15

babybythesea if you want to raise the profile of your chosen charity, then by all means do so, send an email round saying "saw this refuge gift list, thought it would be a good idea and thought I'd share it" or post it on facebook - that's a good thing to do

if you want to let people know you haven't forgotten them at christmas, send em an email saying so

donating to charity doesn't take the place of a card, its a totally different thing and IMO it's wanky to say "I'm donating to charity in place of your card". Giving to charity is a personal thing

Just keep em separate, if you want to donate and raise the profile of a charity, then do that! but call a spade a spade IYKWIM!

If you don't want to send christmas cards, then don't! its just as nice to get an email or text or fb or face to face season's greeting, the whole "meh meh meh charity instead" bit spoils that though!

MrsBeep Wed 28-Nov-12 18:08:17

If you don't want to send any cards then don't. I wouldn't announce it either. Might tell parents or DH/DP but that's about it.

For me...I LOVE sending and receiving Christmas/Yuletide cards. And mine are not "factory line"...I hand make them.

I am a weirdo and like cards too. I have had a few emails with the donation to charity thing and I think hmm when I get those.

Wheresmypopcorn Wed 28-Nov-12 18:17:12

I think the message sounds resentful. You are choosing to send the cards, not them and the message sounds like it's a big waste of your time and you're being forced. Just don't send them then if it's that big of a deal.

Badvocsanta Wed 28-Nov-12 18:22:09

Yes, the cost is becoming prohibitive.
I don't send that many - I hand deliver to family and friends if I can but the overseas ones and the distant ones have just cost me over £20 in stamps. And that's for less than 30 cards.
Then there is the cost of the cards themselves...I like "nice" ones so spend about £20 on the actual cards.
I don't blame people for thinking its all got too expensive.
I do like getting Xmas cards though smile

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 18:25:32

p.s. we spent more on our refuge gift list gift than we spent on any of your DNieces or nephews, because we couldn't afford to spend that much on both either, In fact we spent less on DSs christmas presents (all second hand) than we did on our refuge gift, but we wont be writing on their gift tag that "we didn't get you something better because we spent the rest of our gift budget on someone else who we think deserves it more" hmm

bondigidum Wed 28-Nov-12 18:26:12

I don't like Christmas cards. They're a waste of resources and money imo. I'd happily not send any, none, nadda. We only send to very close family anyway but I still would rather not. DH says its rude and that we have to though... <sigh>

Send an ecard? If you're really bothered about it. Most of them probably won't notice if you don't anyway.

freddiefrog Wed 28-Nov-12 18:30:16

I don't send cards, but I just stopped and didn't make an announcement. A few people commented (my grandmother mostly - I send her one to keep her happy).

For years, I'd buy them, write them, then never be arsed to give them out or buy stamps to post them, so they'd get binned come the end of January, so I just stopped wasting my time and money

MissWooWoo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:53:07

oh bah humbug you lot! what's next? no tree? no christmas pud? no turkey? no presents Can't believe it's such a bother to buy some cards/stamps and then write something in them with a pen (!) and then shock walk to the postbox with them. You've all got Lazybahhumbugitus wink

Think of the trees Miss.

I can imagine my DM's face if I said 'no cards this year'. She would think the world has gone mad and would seek advice in the Daily Fail about young MC people turning their back on tradition and the like. It's the fault of all those immigrants and single mothers don't you know.

Yama Wed 28-Nov-12 19:10:32

I am 36 and I have never sent Christmas cards. Not by post anyway. I seem to recall handing out some when I was at school.

Nobody has disowned me and if they talk about me, well I give a wry smile to that.

flowerygirl Wed 28-Nov-12 19:24:33

An email is not the same as getting a card. I email my family/friends throughout the year, sending another one at Christmas doesn't take much effort. I always appreciate the effort someone took to send me a card.

I never open e-cards either because they always look like dodgy viruses!

baublesandbaileys Wed 28-Nov-12 19:28:22

"I never open e-cards either because they always look like dodgy viruses"

CheerfulYank Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:50

I farking love Christmas in my part of the States it's customary to dress everyone up and get a shot of you playing big happy family to send to everyone. smile I am exhausted and pregnant this year and not appearing in our photo, it will just be of DS. And maybe the dog. grin

But you are NBU to send them if you don't want to. I don't think any explanation is necessary.

soverylucky Wed 28-Nov-12 20:23:10

Love, love, love getting christmas cards. Usually get over a hundred but I send loads. With the cost of stamps the way it is I hand deliver as many as I can and post a bundle to my mum who can distribute round the rest of the family near her. I may trim the list a little this year but I do think it is nice to say to people, especially ones you hardly ever see, that you are thinking of them.

I do not have a problem with people not sending cards - totally up to them. I always buy chairty cards from the charity shop.

cabbageandbeans Wed 28-Nov-12 20:33:51

Don't do it. Better to send nothing at all than announce it. Maybe your wording could be changed to something that suggests you would love to have their email address to make staying in touch easier? Add your phone number, email and your home address, just in case they have lost these and it they want to they stay in touch they will. That way you can whittle your xmas card list down over time.

I rarely see those that I send cards to (I don't tend to give cards to people I see everyday - as I can just say it to them) but it always feels so nice to get a card from someone you haven't seen in a long while and find out what they have been doing. It takes us a long time to write all our messages in our cards, but I know that my friends and family are pleased to receive them.

I don't know if I missed the point back there in the thread but I thought what baby did with the charity thing was a lovely idea. Surely it is whatever suits you. I wouldn't judge someone if the didn't send me a card as such, but if I never hear from them (through the year) then I will assume that they are no longer interested in maintaining a relationship with me!

cabbageandbeans Wed 28-Nov-12 20:35:48

And on the E-cards thing. My friend always sends one with her and her family dancing around like elves - it is just brilliant! I am grateful for multi-media!

diyqueen Wed 28-Nov-12 20:45:23

I was about to suggest something similar to cabbageandbeans.

I personally love getting cards to hang up - and so send them to relatives, neighbours and friends as well, with a letter to those I won't be seeing over Christmas. Seeing cards up around the house reminds me of all the people who have sent them. For me an e-mail or worse a facebook greeting just isn't the same - but then I'm a bit of a dinosaur with technology I suppose. I make my cards and will be roping dd in with the glue and glitter this year... that's part of the fun for me.

I wouldn't send a 'no more cards' message, just make sure you have e-mail addresses/phone numbers and do it that way next year.

moonbells Wed 28-Nov-12 21:10:30

I'm another who sends an e-greeting attachment (though a photo I've taken, not a commercial e-card) to friends my own age with my best wishes and saying where I'm sending cheques. Last couple of years it's been the local Hospice plus the Lymphoma Association, which though national is based locally to us.

Family and older folk still get cards, though. Even if the ones DH and I 'send' to each other are recycled from previous years!!

moonbells Wed 28-Nov-12 21:13:58

(ps deWe sorry, read your comment after I posted...blush I figure folks like to know who has benefitted from us not buying actual cards... bit like reading the back of bought charity cards to see who it aids.)

joanofarchitrave Wed 28-Nov-12 21:42:32

I like cards but am terrible at remembering to do them in time. But I don't think anyone notices whether you send them or not tbh, though I have noticed the gradual decline in numbers over the years possibly related to the years I have not been organised enough to send them.

I only send them to people I don't see regularly though.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 28-Nov-12 22:23:51

Gosh, don't people get in an over complicated self-justifying flap.

I like getting some Christmas cards and reading the ones from family friends at my parents house - especially those that come with a round robin or personal message grin

But I don't send any. I did used to but then I stopped.
DC's send quite a few though.

The end smile

SpectresandSpooks Wed 28-Nov-12 23:09:26

I did not send any one year to all the random and distant relatives on my DH's side. It caused ructions.

I was surprised when I got together with DH that he gave me a card on Christmas Day. I also never gave my parents one as I saw them, but now as my ILs get one, my parents get one. The whole thing confused me.

SleepBeckons Wed 28-Nov-12 23:34:00

The whole card-thing at Christmas is a nightmare. I've always been really conscientious about writing cards for all and sundry but then I realized people were sending me cards because they'd received one from me .... so I was creating a cycle that only Royal Mail seemed to be profiting from hmm

Now, I send about a dozen cards to family, and send to friends after I've received one. This has saved me a fortune in postage stamps grin

So many ways to keep in touch nowadays ....

AngelPup Wed 28-Nov-12 23:51:43

I really don't think it matters a jot whether you send cards, don't send cards, give a donation to charity or not. The main thing is that whatever you do, you do it with goodwill and not begrudgingly. If Christmas cards become an irritant then don't send them. If buying lots of people Christmas presents becomes a chore, then don't do it! I used to buy friends presents but it just went a bit mad so I told them I was stopping. They understood. They are my friends afterall! it doesn't mean I like them any less. Certainly, it is always good to think about how our money is best spent as Babybythesea has done.

For the record, I have friends who tell me they are giving to charity rather than giving cards and that is great. I like to find out about the various charities they support. I don't think badly of them for telling me.

Babybythesea...thank you for informing me of the John Lewis Christmas Refuge list...I shall find out more about that as it sounds worthwhile.

Personally, I have bought cards directly from a charity this year which I guess kills two birds with one stone... However, I would not hesitate to stop sending cards if at any point I found it irritating. So, Crimbo12 not worry about what other people think of know what feels right to you and people will understand (and will probably follow often takes one person to do what everyone else would like to do!)

Rudolphstolemycarrots Wed 28-Nov-12 23:56:45

What about 'we are planning to be very Eco and just send email Xmas cards next year, so let us know your email address'

mercury7 Thu 29-Nov-12 01:45:52

I've not sent cards for several years, the whole bleeding shebang gets on my tits

Decemberinthesun Thu 29-Nov-12 03:33:41

I think christmas cards are just another way that we are manipulated into spending our money. My DH has a large family that are Christian, but not British and they celebrate Christmas without all the money that we spend. They have a nice meal and share small gifts. They do not spend hundreds of pounds on presents and never send cards.

I usually send lots of cards and I live abroad so it costs more to post and buy the cards. Last year I only got 10 cards so I will only be sending to those 10. I've been doing this a few years now, only sending to those who sent me last year. It started off at about 60, now it's down to 10. I hope I get even less this year as I'd like to scarp the crap tradition anyway. I will however always send oldies one like my aunty who loves to get a card and a picture of my kids.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Thu 29-Nov-12 04:29:03

I dont mind not getting Christmas cards but I frikkin' hate ecards. They're so toxic. Everyone knows people only send them because they cant be arsed to spend 30 seconds writing a proper one but want to retain the "friend credit"

NorksAreTinselly Thu 29-Nov-12 06:56:41

Not a single solitary one.
It's great

I look back on the person who used to MAKE Christmas cards for 50 people who didn't really care and can't believe she was really me. The twit.

- My friends and relatives know I don't send them and love me anyway.
- People I don't know very well don't need one. If I haven't spoken to them all year, why would I just because it's Christmas.
- People I see all the time, I say "Merry Christmas" to the last time I see them before Christmas
- Cards from banks and sofa companies go straight in he bin

JugglingWithPossibilities Thu 29-Nov-12 07:49:42

I don't agree that e cards have to be a poor substitute RichMan .... my DC's have enjoyed creating them with eg. a picture of us on a Christmas afternoon walk in the snow, mixed with lots of other Christmassy images DD had found, plus some Photoshop artwork. All very creative and fun ... all I need to do now is compile a group of email addresses and I could be done in one click !

Decemberinthesun Thu 29-Nov-12 08:00:34

I also have a rule now where if I walked past you in the street and didn't instantly recognise you then I am not sending you a Xmas card wink

lotsofdogshere Thu 29-Nov-12 08:14:21

I love getting cards from people I don't see much of, and without Christmas cards we possibly would lose touch. I particularly loathe the sanctimonious approach taken by people who email to say they are not sending cards, but are donating money to charity instead. It's so "look at me, aren't I clever and wonderful". Yuk. Scrooge and bah humbug. Give to charity, of course give to charity, but why the need to tell the world that's what you are doing.

RedHelenB Thu 29-Nov-12 08:25:29

Agree with Lots. Christmas cards are a lovely tradition, & a way of keeping in contact with those you don't see very often.

RosemaryHoyt Thu 29-Nov-12 08:30:28

What horrid comments made to babybythesea. It is clearly a big deal to her, chunk out of her budget, giving to charity, regardless of how it comes about is wonderful, especially when everyone's funds are stretched ATM. The announcement may not suit all of you,but all she is saying is 'don't think I don't care about you at Xmas, I do, rather than a pointless bit of waste/card I've donated where (and let's get this straight; it is sorely needed and VERY much appreciated) possible and still let you know I care'.

Scholes34 Thu 29-Nov-12 08:36:08

I send cards to friends and relatives I don't see often, ie, those who don't live in my city. I always include a hand-written note. I've started to prune back my list by taking off friends I don't hear from from year to year who simply write "Happy Christmas, love from friends of Scholes" and nothing else.

It would be good if more people pruned back their list. That way they would have more money to spend on decent cards, rather than the rather dubious tacky cheap ones that arrive from people who think I'll want to display in my house over the Christmas period.

crimbo12 Thu 29-Nov-12 08:56:53

Thanks everyone- loads of interesting stuff. I personally would never do the "I will send cash to charity instead" thing- a tad holier than thou, and I'm comfortable with our charitable giving already! But it sounds like I'm not alone and maybe I will just cut down to close friends and family to start with and see if anything happens. I have visions of people with those Chrustmas card list books ticking people off as cards come in- ugh!

AngelPup Thu 29-Nov-12 09:11:59

RosemaryHoyt...I agree with you wholeheartedly.

Like some other people, Christmas cards I receive go in the recycling bin, often before Christmas arrives. I have nowhere to put them and if I leave them out my dog will eat them.

I have no idea at all why I continue to send cards...most probably because it is my only contact with people with whom I once had good friendships. Take that away and there wouldn't be any contact at all! Sad really.

Let's not beat ourselves up about what we do or don't do. Life is hard enough without creating additional pressure!

Merry Christmas to one and all! Ho, Ho, Ho!

JugglingWithPossibilities Thu 29-Nov-12 09:17:21

And a Merry Christmas to you too AngelPup smile

(ooh, I wonder when we'll get Christmas smileys - December perhaps ?)

- I'm doing reciprocal greetings this year wink

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Thu 29-Nov-12 11:11:54

I send Christmas cards, although the list gets pruned a bit each year.

I like choosing cards, writing them & receiving them from other people I don't normally see very often as most of my friends do a sort of "round robin" thing (which I know some people see as incredibly naff), and I actually like hearing what's happening in people's lives confused.

And no, it isn't just Christmas that I get in touch with anybody but with my friends living all over the UK, most having DCs, most having jobs and busy lives etc. Christmas does mean that we are getting around to keeping in touch at least once a year! And I couldn't just phone people because I hate using them! blush

ThePoppyAndTheIvy Thu 29-Nov-12 11:12:39

Hate using phones that should say, not using people!

NetworkGuy Thu 29-Nov-12 12:11:21

"I wouldn't send cards to people I see all the time, but to distant relatives and friends abroad I think it is a nice way to wish them Merry Christmas."

I don't have any friends abroad, and having moved, have seen few of my old friends in the last year.

I will send out just a few cards, to the remaining clients who at least send some work (and eventually cash) my way, but really do buy the cheapest cards from a charity shop (rather than a supermarket, which may pass on a fraction).

A few elderly relatives and my immediate siblings (three retired sisters) + BiLs will get cards, but I don't have addresses for my nephews and niece anyway (some may visit their parents, one is overseas with a baby, another two each have 2 daughters, but in truth I know very little about my niece+nephews' interests, lives, and even less about their children).

Oh yes, and am broke at present, but bought some stamps back in March (tend to invoice clients via e-mail and should be doing that as I type this!).

I am going to be sending quite a few (with photo of DSs inside) but no RR. Can't abide them....but slightly disappointed that the smuggest of smug people who have sent us the most detailed multicoloured smug RR for the past 10 years or so are getting divorced. I mean it is obvioulsy very sad for them, but how sad for us....we have dined out on the awfulness of their RR for 10 years, and now (I strongly suspect) we won't be getting another.

Anyway, my list is pruned each year. But this year I did get a couple of cards from an ex colleague (lovely girl) which made me think that the effort and cost of sending cards is worth it. I was quite touched.

But each to their own.

Ephiny Thu 29-Nov-12 14:57:28

I never send cards. I wouldn't make an announcement though. Just don't do it if you don't want to.

Kaekae Thu 29-Nov-12 16:02:14

I quite like sending cards and I like receiving them. I like putting them up around the house. I don't send that many out but I do like writing them out whilst drinking a glass of Bailey's and eating a mince pie! Sadly my gran passed away this year and I used to without fail get a card from her; always said the exact same tiny message from her inside, feels very empty knowing I won't get a card or be able to send one to her this year.

stillsmarting Thu 29-Nov-12 16:04:22

I keep pruning our Christmas card list, but even so end up sending about 50. I exchange cards with most of our neighbours (small cul de sac) because it oils the wheels of our relationships, and with people who live a long way away, but apart from that I try to avoid sending them to people I see a lot of.
At Church we have one card everyone can sign if they want to with the money going to a charity the church suports.

JessieMcJessie Thu 29-Nov-12 16:18:45

I really hate that thing where people you see very day at work hand you a card and then you have to display it- we are not school kids for goodness sake! I do wish my colleagues a Happy Christmas but never reciprocate (noticed a long time ago that male staff never did...)

carrie74 Thu 29-Nov-12 17:14:42

I have a large extended family, located all over the world, and seem to have picked up friends in so many different ways (school, Uni, various jobs, through the children etc), andI like sending them cards and try to write a little something individual in many of them. I don't expect anything back, or keep tabs on who I have or haven't received from. I display the cards we receive on ribbons hung on the backs of our living room doors, and to me, it's part of the decorations.

I'm less enthusiastic about the children doing cards for their friends (which generally means me doing at least some of them), and cards for the (many) people I see every day, and for those I feel obligated to, but at least they're hand delivered, and don't require the heartfelt message inside.

But I really like sending them. sad I love choosing them, depending on which charities I want to support that year, I actually like writing a little message in them (I don't send many that just say 'love from Reshape and family') and I love receiving them. We've got so few the last few years that the ones we do get look sparse and mingy when they're blutak'd to the living room door. sad Maybe I should just ditch the whole thing and save an extra £40 a year.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 17:42:22

I love them- just resent paying all that money on stamps.

Ilovetoread Thu 29-Nov-12 19:23:15

For the last few years we have emailed everyone and let it be known that we are not sending Christmas cards, preferring instead to give the money to charity (RNLI) in our case. In the New Year we send the money and email everybody with a rough idea of what they could buy ie last year our money was enough to theoretically pay for training for one lifeboat crew and gloves. Much better than paper that gets recycled (Must confess I am a bah-humbug where all cards are concerned, much rather money for card and stamp was given to charity!)

wonderingsoul Thu 29-Nov-12 20:19:32

i only get dc one and parents.

im saving the trees!

NanaNina Thu 29-Nov-12 22:55:07

I think Christmas cards originally were sent to people who you seldom saw, but now it has got out of hand in my view. I'm sending them this year but with a note "This is the last year I am sending cards but will keep in touch with special friends and family - you know who you are! I shan't put the notice in older members of the family and friends and family who I seldom see. I like to write something in cards, not just From "N and R" Happy Christmas and I hate those that say "we must meet up in the New Year" and we never do!!

I don't like getting them either - they just lie on the shelf and then get re-cycled at WH Smith or wherever - used to put them up when the kids were young but now it's just us I CBArsed!

I' d much rather hear about Round Robins though cus I hate those too but love having a good laugh over them. We don't get any but my cousin gets 2 or 3 and it's a treat after christmas when she brings them round and we fall about laughing at some of them. She gets one from someone she worked with about 30 years ago and she has not got a clue who he is talking about; she barely remembers him which makes it all the funnier!

Mum2Luke Thu 29-Nov-12 23:17:52

I generally only send Christmas cards to family who are not local or who live abroad and who I don't see but think about at this time of year. I really do not see the point of writing loads of cards out to people I see all the time, I would ratyher give my money to a more worthy cause - at the moment I am organising a donation day of toys for the local radio station's Mission Christmas to give to kids who won't otherwise get a present. I think many kids just get far too many toys and am trying to encourage my 10 yr old to give toys rather than ask for expensive things which he won't be getting anyway.

surfingbabies Fri 30-Nov-12 00:03:42

I don't send them & never have, I donate to charity instead.....if I ever find myself in an awkward situation where I feel someone is expecting a card I tell them which charity we've pick this yr & why, I say it very confident with a big smile grin
This yrs a hard one for us though as we're not buying presents and I'm a little unsure how to tell people!! Any advice?? smile

lovebunny Fri 30-Nov-12 00:26:19

re the o p, make your email a bit softer and send it. its an invitation to people to be in touch. i like it.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 30-Nov-12 13:47:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 13:59:46

We stopped sending the bulk of our cards a couple of years ago as MIL was diagnosed with cancer so we did a Macmillan e-card. I just posted cards to older family members and gave special cards to immediate family.

This year both DCs are at school and I am a mug for buying anything they have made so have ended up buying both of their xmas cards they have made (I have 72 in total) so I am going to have to write them now, bribe the kids to write their names in them and remember to post them!

I may go back to the e-cards next year if it all goes wring.

MrsDeVere Fri 30-Nov-12 14:10:42

I do moonpig ones for family and a very few friends.
I don't send any others
I stopped when my DD died.
She is the oldest DC I always go to write her name first then have to think about who would care/mind/think its weird whatever.

So I just stopped.

It was easy and if anyone is offended I don't care.

BegoniaBampot Fri 30-Nov-12 14:21:15

Is it a bit weird that I hate sending cards, the cost, the waste, the fact it's expected etc. But - I'd probably feel a bit sad to look round and realise I hadn't got many given to us? Suppose for many it's often the only time they keep a slim contact with an old acquaintance, friend or family member. never understand folk spending a fortune on really fancy cards though. But I'm like that with any kind of cards.

chocoluvva Fri 30-Nov-12 14:35:25

Not weird IMO - that's exactly how I feel.

BegoniaBampot Fri 30-Nov-12 14:37:35

That's why I like FB. I can keep that little contact with those far away and catch a little peep into their lives. Could always wish them a Happy Christmas on FB instead of sending cards I suppose.

BegoniaBampot Fri 30-Nov-12 14:39:15

Would rather give the money I'd spend on cards to charity. Would still send to older people, especially those on their own or that who might appreciate the card more.

Chottie Fri 30-Nov-12 19:15:34

I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. The pile of cards on the mat when I get home from work with cheery messages and personal updates is just lovely to open. I spend a lot of time and trouble selecting cards and writing them. I only buy charity Christmas cards, there is a lovely selection in my local library.

In school I stopped around Year 9 because I was too scared to give them to people, haven't given them since. I think I have to start this year. But not that many, max ten!

Wordsmith Wed 19-Dec-12 10:24:30

I like sending Christmas cards; I like receiving them too. I like keeping in touch with people - anyone who sees my FB page can see that! BUT this year although I have bought cards (from Oxfam) I am not going to be sending them. We are trying to spend less this Christmas - just buy for the kids and not each other - and when I totted up that it would cost £30 just for the stamps to send cards to people I didn't really know and hadn't seen for 20 years, plus would take about 4 hours of time that could be spent on more worthwhile activities, I decided not to do it this year. I will write a few that I can hand-deliver, but that's it. I keep in touch with people all year round. I also support Martin Lewis's campaign to stop people spending money they can't afford on presents that people simply don't want. The madness has to stop somewhere.

nurseneedshelp Wed 19-Dec-12 10:25:57

I've not sent cards for about 5 years! Waste of time and money!

Ivanda Thu 20-Dec-12 14:12:55

Hi All smile I love sending Christmas cards and I even made all (yes ALL of them!! 36) this year - beautiful mulberry paper designs involving lovely paints, robins, gold thread and time/effort and care...starting in September...I made them for family, friends and then thought what the heck..made them for colleagues at work too...(hmmmmmm!! I hear you all say...!!)

However, it filled up dull moments as I enjoyed it so much - couldnt wait to give them out too...

However..Im a bit down now - whereas people said they "loved" the originality/prettiness and care.. a) I hardly got any given to me myself or b)I got hastily scribbled on cheap paper ugly ones left at the end of box for non-special people (I over heard a co-worker sighing as she wrote these out for us 'non-special' people)...

I feel silly and annoyed with myself too. I loved making them. I loved giving them. But I feel hurt about the lack of effort from others. Maybe I'm just a stupid fool? Will someone please say something wise to me please!

Thanks and Seasonal Greetings xx

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